Are you having a problem concentrating or do you experience brain fog? Do you have joint pain or your hair is losing its natural shine and becoming thin and brittle? These are some of the signs that you lack omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital nutrients needed for all regular bodily processes, including cell proliferation and muscle contractions. It is undoubtedly necessary to include omega-3 foods in your kid’s diet as they are important for their overall growth and development. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits and excellent sources of omega-3 foods which aid in brain development.
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Omega 3 Fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that provide a wide range of benefits for the brain, acting as a remedy for many brain disorders. Additionally, it has a significant positive impact on heart health. It helps in brain development, better eyesight, glowing skin, fighting depression and fight inflammation, improved sleep and cognition, the prevention of both neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative illnesses, and many more. Some research has also shown that omega-3 fatty acids help in managing behavioural and psychological conditions in kids because of their role in neurotransmitter function. As our body cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids, the only way to incorporate them into our body is through our diets.
Also, Check: Benefits of Omega- 3
Types of omega 3:
There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Alpha linolenic acid (ALA)
For optimum brain function, DHA and EPA are both essential. DHA is the most prevalent fatty acid in the brain and plays a crucial role in the formation and operation of nerve cells. EPA is crucial for controlling cellular inflammation. The brain’s ability to grow, operate and maintain itself is all influenced by DHA and EPA, and as we age, both DHA and EPA levels gradually decline. The DHA levels in our body vary depending on the kinds and quantities of fatty acids in our diet. EPA and DHA are found mainly in certain fish, whereas ALA is found in plant sources.
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Adequate intake (AI) of omega-3 fatty acids as per NIH (National Institute of Health):
Daily needs of omega 3 fatty acids depend upon age and gender. ALA is the only omega-3 fatty acid with specific dosage guidelines.
|0 to 12 months||0.5 grams||0.5 grams|
|1 to 3 years||0.7 grams||0.7 grams|
|4 to 8 years||0.9 grams||0.9 grams|
|9 to 13 years||1.2 grams||1.0 grams|
|14 to 18 years||1.6 grams||1.1 grams|
|19 to 50 years||1.6 grams||1.1 grams|
|51 + years||1.6 grams||1.1 grams|
|19 to 50 years (pregnant)||–||1.4 grams|
|19 to 50 years (lactating)||–||1.3 grams|
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Foods that are rich in omega-3:
Following are some foods and herbs that are great source of omega-3 fatty acids which helps in enhancing brain function.
1. Tapioca Starch
Tapioca starch is a great source of Vitamin K. This nutrient is very important for the proper functioning of the neurological system. The vitamin prevents free radicals from damaging brain tissue and keeps the neural networks active. Additionally, it contains dietary fibres like cellulose and pectin that aid to maintain digestion and healthy gut health.
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Sage is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has been demonstrated to strengthen your brain’s defence mechanism and aid in memory, problem-solving, thinking, and other cognitive functions.
3. Flax seed:
Flaxseed, which is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, aids in regulating and promoting general brain function. It is particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a form of omega-3 that has been closely associated with brain health. It contributes to better circulation and inflammation reduction in addition to enhancing cognitive function.
4. Vitamin K2-7 (Menaquinone):
A reduction in cognitive impairment symptoms, depression, and anxiety, as well as improved learning and spatial memory, have all been associated with vitamin K supplementation. It also provides essential nutrients for the strong nervous system.
5. Omega – 3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered as healthy brain food that may counteract oxidative stress and inflammations, two drivers of cognitive decline. It also increases the concentration power in kids. These healthy fats have amazing brain-boosting power and play a vital role in enhancing memory and attention span.
6. FOS (Prebiotic fiber):
FOS (Prebiotic fibres) are beneficial for many important functions, such as enhancing mood, working memory, learning memory, and reaction time. Prebiotics may support both cognitive enhancement and avoid behavioural changes. They also aid in a variety of digestive issues, encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and even strengthen your immune system.
Also, check Role of Prebiotics for health
7. Rice Protein
There are significant amounts of various vital amino acids in rice protein. It has been demonstrated to build muscle mass and increase strength. It is rich in non-heme Iron which plays a major role in transporting oxygen throughout the body and helps in improving brain health and metabolism. Moreover, compared to many other protein powders, rice protein is regarded to be much simpler to digest.
8. Sprouted Moong Dal:
The nutrient-dense sprouted moong dal is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Excellent for bone strength and helps maintain brain health.
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Moringa includes 100% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E and K, which is excellent for strengthening bones and improving skin and hair. It is also a fantastic source of vitamin B1, which has amazing effects on a child’s brain. The high iron content of moringa promotes brain sharpness. It aids in strengthening memory and learning while also enhancing neurotransmission in the brain. It lessens oxidative stress and the degeneration of brain nerve cells.
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Beetroot nitrates may boost brain function by encouraging blood vessel dilatation and so improving blood flow to the brain. It contains Vitamin C, B9 (folate), calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, nitrates, proteins, and phytonutrients (betalains). It’s known to specifically increase blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain, which is connected to higher-order cognitive functions including decision-making and working memory.
Spinach is packed with brain-boosting nutrients like vitamin A, B12, K, and iron. According to research, just one serving of spinach per day may help your brain stay a decade younger (likely due to Vitamin A) than people who do not regularly consume green leafy vegetables. Spinach is a complete superfood in addition to being a brain booster.
This healthy brain food is found to increase dopamine levels, boost locomotor function, decrease oxidative stress and help in overall brain health. Giloy possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that aid in the recovery of brain cells that have been injured. Additionally, it can also help to boost immunity.
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13. Alfa-alfa Grass:
Alfalfa has a diverse range of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive substances, which contribute to its many health advantages. The antioxidant properties of alfalfa may lessen the cellular harm brought on by free radicals.
14. Barley Grass:
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that works in the brain to regulate emotions and alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms, is abundant in barley grass extract. It is gluten-free, unlike its counterpart barley and is a natural detox for the body.
15. Wheat Grass:
It has also been demonstrated that wheatgrass has a neuroprotective impact on the brain, which can enhance mental capacity and memory. Extracts of this healthy brain food provide a concentrated, rich and bioavailable source of all brain-boosting nutrients.
As you are now familiar with the healthy omega-3 rich brain foods that are required to boost your child’s brain development, memory and focus, adding them to their daily diet would be the best option.
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